Why Bill Nye Transformed His Approach on Science Education
The science "guy," television presenter and mechanical engineer, most known for his PBS show, 'Bill Nye the Science Guy,' has expanded his focus on science education from children to adults in recent years because of one simple thing.
After presenting 100 episodes of Bill Nye the Science Guy, Bill Nye was ready to close that chapter in his life. As the CEO of The Planetary Society (an organization founded by his mentor Carl Sagan), the subject of documentary Bill Nye: Science Guy and presenter of the Netflix show Bill Nye Saves the World, Nye now strives to educate those who deny climate change, evolution and a science-based worldview — primarily adults.
"Our problem now is denial of science at large and especially denial of climate change. We have to solve these problems," he said. "It's the grownups that are doing the voting and who are the captains of the industry and influencing government, so that's why I talk to grownups these days."
Climate change is an everlasting debate in America, and Bill Nye has a very strong opinion on the matter. "[Climate change] is the most serious problem facing us, and we can address it. We can have a higher quality of life for everyone on Earth by producing renewable electricity that's reliable, clean water, and access to the internet for everyone on Earth."
After Nye's five-year run with the television program, Bill Nye the Science Guy, which is still viewed by students today, he and his science-based platform left the spotlight. Reports even went viral that Nye was dead, but when Bill Nye: Science Guy directors David Alvarado and Jason Sussberg realized Nye was still very much alive, an idea was sparked.
"We were one of those millennials that thought maybe Bill Nye was dead. We had not heard about him since our childhood. When he did the Ken Ham debate in 2014, obviously he was alive and obviously he was still fighting for science, so we figured what better way to honor our hero," Alvarado said.
Sussberg added, "We felt like it was our obligation to continue Bill's legacy of science literacy. He did the show because he saw science lagging in America. We did the film to continue that science literacy effort. We as storytellers wanted to tell an inspiring, hopeful, optimistic tale at a time that is not very optimistic."